First Fishing trip of 2018


It seemed like 0500 hours came a bit early but in the grand scheme of going fishing that was not too bad for someone not real used to getting up before 0630.  I fished with Damon on Friday.

It was the first fishing trip of 2018 for me.  The trip started with breakfast in Siletz at the Cafe.  The weather was better than forecast.  I had expected rain most of the day and for this trip had decided to use the breathable waders, and Carhart rain coat.  Turned out to be a good choice but not entirely necessary.  It was mild as far as the cold and not very wet as far as the rain.

The water was as low as I have seen fishing in the winter and clear.  We drifted from Moonshine Park to the town of Siletz.  The hot rod in the boat was the Client, he caught all the fish of consequence on the float.  I tagged one Steelhead, he tagged two, we also boated one Coho that was released, and several trout were caught and released.

There were not too many others fishing this area of the Siletz.  Curt Curry was there and fished the same float with two clients.  We also saw and shared water with one other boat.  Three boats on the water with good good weather made for a pretty nice day.

I will be looking forward to more fishing this year and hoping for a better run of fish than last year.



Post Christmas trip to Coast

The wind is gusting, I can hear the rain beating on the windows, and it is 72 degrees in here with the satisfying smell of Steak cooking.  I could really get used to camping like this if I didn’t  have to go outside once in a while.

We came to Newport for a couple days in the 5th Wheel Tuesday after Christmas.  We will return home tomorrow Friday.  Weather the first day, cold breezy and yes even a little uncomfortable, but it didn’t take long to improve on that.  After the trailer warmed up and all the actions needed to get settled in were over it was a very nice place to be.

This trip could be summed up by saying the wifi was fast enough to watch Netflix and the trailer was a great place to sit and read.

In between those hi points I noticed we were not very crowded in the camp ground.  The first day I counted about 15 rigs.  There are more today as we get closer to the weekend but still lots of room for people to camp.  There are several open spots in the area with beautiful views of the bay and bridge.  I am surprised but not dismayed, that a lot of people would rather use the pull through sites.  Do you suppose it is because they are easier to get into or they just don’t want to back into a spot?

Now for the creepy part.  It is so easy to see someone pull in and wonder what their rig is like.  Well you don’t have to wonder for very long.  Just get on the internet and look up their rig.  In a short time you can see about how much it is worth and the floor plan.  I know kinda weird.  I will promise not to do this much in the future.

I had the opportunity to speak with a full-timer named “Bob” who is also just down the way.  Very nice guy with lots of camping wisdom.  He shared with me some pointers about camping in cold weather, and spoke about a few of the projects he is working on in his motor home.  He told me he and his wife were tired of the dry and dust camping down south in the winter so they are presently enjoying the Northwest weather.  I am thinking good for him but I don’t think I understand the logic.

We have two Airstreams near us they are nice looking rigs and the people with them are very pleasant.  Just a few hours ago a brand new Arctic Fox 992 pulled into the site next to us.  I kinda got into a little trouble with that one.  He came over after getting his limit of crab and offed me some.  I was outside and the wife inside.  Thinking only of myself and the fact that we just had crab a little while ago I deferred.  When I came in with the report about the neighbor I was chastised a bit for turning down the crab.  In my defense she had just told me we were having steak for dinner.  I like steak.

If I was going to list something to improve on during this camping trip it would be getting things a little cooler in the bedroom.  (I am sure that doesn’t sound right).  The trailer is so well insulated but closed up for the rain that there is not much fresh air getting to the sleeping area.  Open a window, good idea they all said.  It can’t be that simple.

Friday we leave, go home and then leave again for Sister, Oregon with family at a rented home for the New Year’s weekend.

Crabbing at Yaquina Bay

This is a pretty late post and is being done because I am using this time to be lazy.  I have started to come down with a head cold and am resolved to not doing much today.  Therefore I am going to make a little post about a trip taken to Yaquina Bay Thursday before last December 7th.

IMG_4606It was one of those trips with Damon my fishing guide friend that remind you not everyone is that good at fishing but some are very good at getting their limit.

We had a temperature inversion in the valley that kept the cold trapped in the valley.  Made for some clear cold nights and dry conditions in the area.  So when I got the invitation to go crabbing after being kinda laid up with my sore back this past few months it was important to go.  After all I do have a policy about going whenever invited unless there is a prior family commitment or doctor appointment.  In this case there was a prior appointment to have coffee with some other retired people but they are not by policy, family members or doctors, so I had to go with Damon’s invitation to remain in policy.

The other advantage to going on this trip, unlike some fishing trips it is sensitive to the tide and the predicted tide was at a reasonable hour.  Broken down into my most simple explanation because the incoming tide was later in the morning we didn’t have to be on the water until later and could sleep a while into the morning.  I am not a big fan of getting up at 0300 hours.  In this instance I didn’t have to get up until about 5am.

We were launched and in the bay setting traps for crab by a bit after 8am.  I think it might even have been later than that.  Damon Struble of Nomads fishing adventures, Carl Hansen, and Greg Buchert, comprised the crew on this trip.  You might note it is the same group that were on the epic fishing adventure on Green Peter Resv several years back.

As you might expect the weather on the Oregon Coast was great.  Cloudless sky, cold, and a bit breezy.  The crabbing was good.  In fact I was surprised how good it was.  We secured our limit of 48 crabs in a little over 2 hours.


A Table fixed

When we got this trailer there were a few things that have caused us a little concern.  One of which was the table.  It is nice and solid, looks good but it was hard to get under and did not slide forward or aft like it appears it should.  There were rails under the table and looked like it should move to give more flexibility to those seated at the table.

I reviewed the users forum for Northwood trailers and noticed several people with the same problem.  Most sited problems with the hight of the table and the “knee knockers” under the table that you bumped into when getting seated.

I puzzled about the problem, which is to say, while sitting outside smoking my pipe and drinking coffee I thought it was a problem that should be fixed and the solutions I read about seemed a little short of the right answer for me.

Well it came to me this morning, stop puzzling over it and tear it apart.  Right wrong or whatever I took the table apart and found the answer I was looking for.  Whoever put the table together had all the right parts, they just put one upside down.  The table is fixed now the hight is perfect, the “knee knocker” is gone and I think it looks better.  It took me about 3 hours to do and would have been quicker if I wasn’t prone to regular breaks.

If you are interested in the solution to table problems on the 2018 Arctic Fox Silver 27-5L read on otherwise know I fixed it and now the table is as it should be.

  1.  First I took the table off of the pedestal.  It was secured with 8 Kreg screws.
  2. I took the table top into the garage and set it top down to examine the problem.IMG_4569
  3. I notice there were two hinges that were not doing anything and then noticed the wood where the table attached to the pedestal was about 1/2 inch lower than the rails.  To rase the table I needed to put a section of lumber the same sized on top, wait how about turning the part over.  Yep it was put on upside down.  IMG_4572
  4. By turning it over I raised the table top a 1/2 inch.  Next I sanded the groves and notice when I took it apart that it had been screwed down so close that it had no play between the parts and was unable to slide.
  5. Next I went to work on the rails.  Cutting each on the end at a 45 degree angle and sanding the area smooth. IMG_4575
  6. After I was satisfied the part would slide smoothly, I got my wife to help me put it back on the pedestal and screwed it down.  Problem solved.  I didn’t add any wooden parts, raised the table 1/2 inch, eliminated the “knee knockers” and walked away feeling pretty good about myself.  Then I took a short nap.

Ok it might have been a longer nap than I needed but it was well earned.  I will try to share this solution on the forum after I improve on the directions a little.

In summary if you own a Arctic Fox 27-5L and are having trouble with the table, this might be your solution.  The only tools you kneed are a Kreg screw driver, fine tooth saw, sand paper, and a partner that will hold the table while you get it centered on the pedestal.    IMG_4585

Newport, Oregon second trip out

It was a long weekend for LeAnn and we were anxious to try the trailer out again.  I got things all hooked up and left as soon as LeAnn got home on Thursday night.  That meant we left after 1730 hrs and would be setting up in the dark.  We had reservations at the Port of Newport Marina & RV Park.

I knew we would be getting into the site after dark and have been kind of thinking about the easiest way to manage getting settled into the space we had reserved.  It was a back in site with a great view of the marina.  They are paved and wide but after dark it is often difficult to see anyone who is helping you back in.  It is also custom made for married people to yell at each other.  (Its why its so much fun to watch others get set up)

This time I decided to try some of those chemical sticks to mark the target spot I was going to back into.  Worked very well.  I set the light stick at the left rear corner of the site and used it as a reference point.  Keeping in mind I am going to need 4 feet of space between the trailer and the electric service because of the slide out.  It makes it easier for us now we only have slide outs on the left side.

It was not raining when we arrived but it was just as dark as I imagined it would be.  Hit the marks, hooked up sewer, water, electricity, auto level, and we were done before I knew it.  This thing almost sets itself up.


Our Truck and Trailer

I took some photos during the times weather was good.  I was drizzle and clouds a lot of the time this weekend but we were either inside being comfortable or shopping for those things you think you need for a new trailer.


Trailer on the service side

I have started to do a few things different when we set up.  No longer do I worry about the chalks so much.  The sites are most often very close to level, and the trailer is on the front jacks before it is disconnected from the truck.  This makes it very unlikely it is going to roll.

I stopped the worry about when LeAnn goes into the trailer and when the slide outs are put out.  Most of the access for service are not effected or hampered by the slide outs.  It also goes to my general attitude I am trying to improve on.  Don’t be an impatient jerk.  Not easy, but I am beginning to understand being understood works best if you are listened to and being listened to happens more often if you aren’t a jerk.


The woman I took camping

As you can see from the picture above that area is great for getting girls to smile or to have a little protection from the rain.  I might be inclined to use that area under neath there to sit and ponder during my morning coffee if it was raining.

However I did find out something the power awning is awesome and I used it several times.  As you must know the old way was labor intensive and meant some one had to stand out in the rain to make it happen.  This one is all done while standing in the trailer and is high enough to park a Duramax under.  Slam latches for the storage doors, windows that don’t get all wet inside, a furnace that makes it too warm inside, and automatic vents that cycle out the smoke from over cooked bacon.

I couldn’t help but think we have come a long way since pulling that port-a-potty with a bed, behind the Ford Bronco back in the 90’s.


Newport Bridge over Yaquina Bay

After pulling out of the RV Park, we pulled the trailer down to the South Jetty, put the slide out and ate a snack while watching the bay.  Sometimes its hard to end a good weekend at the coast.

The New Trailer

We have been talking about it for a while now.  Finding a trailer that would work for the kind of camping we are doing now.  The Cougar was nice but after time it became apparent that it was too big.  We found our selves being limited to certain locations and sites because you just can’t put a 35 foot 5th wheel anywhere you want.  Especially if the darn thing is also 14 feet wide.

So at first we thought we might go with a 29 foot bumper pull.  Even looked at a few.  The problem was it didn’t change my overall length.  Having the hitch halfway into the truck bed makes a difference.  We also noticed storage was an issue.  So the more we worked on the problem and thought about the problem it looked like we needed to stay with a 5th wheel.  Great now what.  New used all have their good and bad points.  Cost, financing, its all those little things to consider.  Having the trailer paid for didn’t make the decision any easier.

As usual we worked on the process lots longer than necessary, and might still be working on the process except for a picture in a brochure for a 5th wheel we thought was too expensive for us.  (It might still be pretty expensive but thats a point we don’t need to think about anymore)

Every photograph of the 5th Wheel looked out on the most beautiful places.  The inside of the 5th Wheel was really spacious, I just felt like they took the photos just for us.

So too keep you from falling asleep reading this we went to Junction City and looked at the 5th Wheel in the brochure.  The problem with that visit was the view out the window was not as inspired but the 5th Wheel its self was just what we wanted.

If you needed something to put your finger on as far as tipping points, double pane windows, 16″ wheels, and what appears to be quality workmanship.  The design hasn’t changed in years, it is built on a frame designed for it, and is believed to be a true 4 season trailer.  It is manufactured in a part of Oregon that knows about winter.

So drumroll we thought about it for another 2 months.  Finally making the purchase well after camping season.  Its ours now and will be for a long time.  The Cougar 318 SAB was traded for our new Arctic Fox 27-5L.

Our first trip out was November 4th and 5th at River Bend County Park a few miles east of Sweet Home, Or.  We had water and electricity on this camping trip but there is no sewer hookup.  The park was fairly empty with only a few campers.  It was overcast and wet the perfect kind of weather to stay inside and thank God you aren’t tent camping anymore.  (Not that we would ever tent camp in November unless we were Elk hunting)

We were in space 7B and I think it was kind of a dark campsite.  Lots of trees and not much exposure to the sky.  Even after the rain stopped it dripped from the trees.  When you are inside a nice warm camper it kind of a neat sound.

A few things of note:

  1. There are so many light switches I can’t begin to tell you.
  2. The shower is big enough for me and thats no joke.  If you know me I take up a lot of space.
  3. The four point leveling system really does level the trailer and makes it a lot less prone to motion.
  4.   The windows hardly showed any condensation, I am not kidding.
  5. Everything seemed to work as it was supposed to.

During this process I also got a few updates to the Duramax, spray in bed liner, new B&W Patriot Hitch, Wickum Weld Tool box and Cab Rack.  I like the way this rig looks going down the road.

LeAnn camped the first night and then returned for some Grandma Duties, I stayed one more night because I can.  The next trip will be November 9th, 10, and 11 at The Port of Newport RV park.

Good or Bad it was candy

A while back we hosted a Pinochle Party at our house on a Saturday night.  The next day we had our boys over for dinner.  There was a lot of house cleaning prior to the Pinochle Party and also some candy that was necessary at all the card tables.

One of those represents chores that I like to avoid and the other represents opportunities to graze on treats left behind. Good things and bad things by my way of thinking.  Remember in this house you need to take special care with those things you think might be good and those you know are going to be bad.

On Monday I felt ill all day long.  Not ill like on vacation but weak and out of it kind of ill with an upset stomach and little or no energy to do anything.  The untrained eye would most likely interpret what they saw as a man who was very lazy.  I spent the day just lying around and practiced my napping skills.

On Tuesday I felt much better than the day before.  That evening I felt so much better I even attempted to tease my wife about the candy that she had left on my workbench after the Pinochle Party.   The candy had been spotted on Sunday afternoon and I suspected she had put it there before the boys came over for dinner.

My wife does not leave candy out any longer; this is one of the changes I have noticed since her weight loss.  So whenever I am able to find candy lying about it is either an oversight on her part or part of some more sinister master plan.  I have become less concerned about the sinister things in my life these past years and now spend more time thinking about the good luck I am having.  A stash of candy wrapped in a towel on my workbench must mean she was trying to hide it but became distracted and forgot what she was doing, never to return to the stash.  Yes overworking the wife can lead to benefits.

Remember in this house you need to take special care with those things you think might be good and those you know are going to be bad.

I was feeling better on Tuesday and knew I should not continue eating the forgotten candy.  After all she is either going to remember she left it on the workbench or see her towel on the workbench and discover the candy again.  Either way I am going to get into trouble for eating the candy or for having the towel on my workbench.  The best defense is offense.  I determined to do what most any other man should have done I try to tease my wife about leaving her candy stash on my workbench.

This next part is where things get a little fuzzy.  As I begin to tease the wife about leaving the candy on my workbench she has a strange look on her face.  I am unable to tell if it is a quiet satisfaction or that look you have just after you lock the door to your car and remember where the keys are.

“Candy” she says “You didn’t eat it did you?”  This may mean several things.  She was saving it for another occasion, she wanted it for herself, and she didn’t think I should eat it.  You get the picture, it could have meant almost anything, but I know it doesn’t mean something good.

That’s when I learned that after mopping the floor, the mop bucket was put next to the freezer, which is next to the door in garage.  The candy was then put on top of the freezer when she was getting ready for the boys to come over on Sunday.  Through some action taken with intent or carelessness the candy fell into the bucket, was quickly scooped out and laid on a towel to dry.

Was this part of a master plan? It is much too soon to tell.  Was I wrong to eat the candy?  Are you kidding me I am always wrong.  Did she just attempt to poison me knowing I would eat the candy? No, this couldn’t be possible.  Just remember my wife loves me and would never do anything bad to me. But, if you see candy lying around in this house, only eat the stuff that is dry and already wrapped like it came from the factory.

The Truth: (as she see’s it)

Ok, I still have little self-control where chocolate is involved, so I put the candy out at the last minute before Pinochle guests arrived that Saturday night. I put the opened bags of wrapped candy in a big plastic bag and put it right outside the door on top the freezer in the garage. Of course the freezer can be a little warm on top, so I tossed the bag on top of a stack of Costco paper plates that was conveniently there in case I needed more before the evening was over. Oh no, the bag of candy slipped right off and splashed into the mop bucket, which, strangely enough, even though I had helpfully left it conveniently right outside the door in expectation that my wonderful husband would see it and immediately take it outside and empty it for me, because he has earned a very high expectation level from me, well, unbelievably, that bucket was still sitting there full of dirty water. If I do say so, my reaction time is lightening fast where possible damage to chocolate is involved. I snatched that bag out of the bucket instantly, but a few bags as well as some individually wrapped pieces of candy fell into the water. I grabbed a towel and wrapped the candy to sort out and deal with later. Much later.  So you see, once again, it really wasn’t my fault.